Sewa Kendra Leprosy Relief (SKLR), generally known as Sewa Kendra i.e. "service center", is a non-government, non-profit civil society organization dedicated to:
- elimination and early detection of leprosy in Nepal
- relief and rehabilitation of leprosy-affected people, and
- medical relief of destitute people who include leprosy affected people with deformities.
The SKLR is registered with the Government of Nepal, District Administration Office, Kathmandu (Registration Number 149/059/060) is located at Gaushala in Kathmandu, close to the great Hindu deity, Lord Pashupatinath, to whom thousands of devotees pay their homage every day. For many destitute people in the country the temple is a place of refuge. While giving alms to the needy is considered a pious act of seeking salvation, particularly so in the premises of the great deity, many of the destitute people can live there by begging. Many leprosy victims too end up here as destitutes, because they are mercilessly ex-communicated by their relatives and neighbours as soon as their affliction becomes public knowledge due to deformities that generally occur on the faces, hands and feet. Thus, by locating itself in the Pashupati temple area, Sewa Kendra has been able to reach out to many leprosy-affected people, and in the meantime, a large number of the destitute people in the area too have been drawn to its services. The SKLR was established in September 2002 basically to continue and build on the services of an earlier facility in the area. Since dying in the precincts of Pashupatinath Temple is believed to ensure a place in heaven, the temple premises also includes a government-run old age home with 350 inmates including 14 leprosy patients among them. Since medical service is very scarce in the institution, Sewa Kendra also runs its clinic three times a week.
Sewa Kendra Team
Sewa Kendra is a lean and efficient organization. A small team of two doctors (one leprosy-specialist and one dermatologist), four nurses including a senior nurse, one physio-technician, one lab technician, one admin officer, one driver-cum-store assistant, one house mother, and one clerk complete the list of its staff capabilities.
As mentioned earlier, Sewa Kendra works in close coordination with the Leprosy Control Division of the Ministry of Health and Population of the Government of Nepal. It has also been a member of the National Leprosy Alliance which is a nationwide network of leprosy-related government and non-government institutions.
Two issues are of primary concern for Sewa Kendra as it views towards its future. First, it should continue to deliver quality service to the leprosy-affected people to help them live a life of health and dignity. To that end, it must continuously improve its health, rehabilitation and empowerment initiatives.